Travel and tourism is big business.
In the United Kingdom, we Brits spend an eye-watering two months’ salary on a summer holiday, with the average getaway costing £860 per person.
But as families begin to feel the punch and grow tired of waiting around in airports and falling ill after a dodgy all-inclusive meal, more of us than ever are choosing to stay put in our own country and go on a “staycation” instead.
And that’s not all; every year, more than 37.6 million overseas visitors come to the UK in search of a good time, spending an impressive £22.5 billion.
Whether you run a business offering food, activities, transport, accommodation, experiences or insurance, there’s money to be made from locals and tourists alike.
Today, we’ve put together some of the best content marketing ideas for travel and tourism businesses to ensure you have a presence on search engines and have an awesome blog that converts visitors into customers.
Local travel guide
You know more about your local area than a tourist, so get your thinking cap on and create a local travel guide to give holidaymakers top tips on where to stay and what to get up to.
Today’s discerning tourists enjoy “off the beaten track” experiences, so if you can give them ideas of what to get up to if they want to escape the crowds and grab a real taste of your local town or city, then you should do exactly that.
Guides should be well-written and comprehensive; even if it takes you six months to write and means that you can’t publish weekly content on your blog, give it a go, as the results will speak for themselves when you’re ranking well and having your content shared by tourists.
Oh, and consider creating a PDF version of your local travel guide and give it away for free in exchange for their email address. That way, you’ll be able to start an email marketing campaign to persuade readers to buy from your business. It’s the perfect lead generation technique.
Tourists need to find somewhere to eat, and while review websites like TripAdvisor and Google are good for a basic browse, reading a comprehensive round-up of some of the best restaurants in your town is a much better way to get a real flavour for the food and ambience.
Even if your business doesn’t relate to food, make it a habit to try a different local pub or restaurant every week, and round up some of the top choices in a blog post.
You can link back to each of the establishments in your blog, which will help you to build relationships with local businesses; rank them based on value for money, quality and taste.
If you run your own restaurant, then you’ll no doubt feel uncomfortable recommending other eateries on your blog, but you might be surprised at the results.
Say you write an article like “5 of the best restaurants in Blackpool” – if you rank at number one on Google and your own restaurant is number one on your list, people will naturally choose to dine with you as a result.
“What to pack” guide
Packing for a holiday can be stressful, especially if you’re going on an experience weekend like surfing or you’re travelling somewhere remote.
One blog post idea would be to write a “What to pack for your holiday in town/city”, and list some of the things you’d recommend to bring.
If you run a campsite, for example, then you might recommend that your customers bring their own leads for electricity, or bring their own toilet paper if this isn’t provided by your team.
Such articles are handy, rank well on search engines and can be useful in answering questions from potential guests. Rather than getting in touch, they’ll be able to find the information on your blog.
Vlog the local area
If you’re comfortable speaking in front of the camera, then you could consider recording a vlog of a “day in the life of a tourist” in your town or city.
There’s no getting away from the fact that video marketing has exploded in popularity, so recording a vlog and showing off some of the sights and tourist attractions can give potential holidaymakers food for thought and encourage them to visit your local town.
And, if you feature your company within the vlog, they’ll likely add your destination to their itinerary when they’re in town, so it can quickly help you find customers.
You don’t need to splash out on expensive equipment or hire a video professional to create a great-looking video.
Just use your iPhone camera and download a free video editing tool such as iMovie, and you’ll be good to go.
Add your company branding and a call to action at the end of the post, and you’ll soon have a video that drives tonnes of traffic back to your website.
For many, visiting a new town or city is as much about exploring the rich history and culture as it is about having a good time.
In fact, historical tour holidays are more popular than ever before, attracting a more affluent clientele who are prepared to spend more on luxury accommodation and food, so creating a high-quality local history piece could provide numerous benefits.
If you don’t know where to start, then head to your local library or speak to a historian about some of the things tourists would be interested in.
The key is to find interesting facts and statistics that other local travel blogs don’t know about, as you’ll likely rank higher and attract some free backlinks from websites who want to cite you as a reference in their future content.
“Getting around” tips
Transport is often one of the most stressful parts of a holiday.
If you’re a taxi company, for example, then you could create a “getting around town” guide to help people find their way from A to B.
Sure, Google Maps has made people less reliant on travel guides, but it can still be useful to read through a guide of local bus timetables and prices, and know the number of the local taxi company if you’re planning on spending an afternoon around town without your car.
The best part about creating an article of this style is that it will be evergreen, meaning it will always be relevant and topical to your audience.
You should just remember to go back and make changes to your article as local infrastructure, timetables or pricing changes to give your readers the most accurate and up-to-date information.
If you tell your readers one thing but mean another, then they’ll lose faith and won’t want to buy from you when they visit.
Interesting statistics roundup
Posts filled with fun facts about your town or city can be great for children and tourist groups, so speak with other local businesses and the council to get some accurate and up-to-date stats.
If you don’t think it’s worth the effort, then take a look at this article on fun facts about York city from a local property company.
It ranks at number one on Google for ‘fun facts about York’, which gets more than 800 organic searches per month, and because of its quality information and authority, lots of other websites are linking back to it, which increases its domain authority.
User-generated content posts
At Muffin Marketing, we talk regularly about the power of user-generated content for small businesses.
Not only does it help to increase brand awareness and build trust, but it’s good fun and encourages customers to get involved in your marketing.
If you run a business in the travel and tourism niche, and lots of customers send in photos of them at your establishment, then consider writing a roundup post with some of your favourite user-submitted material.
Another Place, a hotel in the Lake District, has a dedicated section on its website, showing off user-generated content.
It takes the best Instagram posts that have tagged the hotel and features them on its website.
The result is this stunning wall of images, with varying colours, photography styles and descriptions when you hover over a particular image.
Not only does it look good, but it shows potential customers that other people have enjoyed staying with them.
Grabbing a slice of the multi-billion-pound travel and tourism industry can be hard work, but with a strong content marketing strategy, you’ll be able to attract the attention of holidaymakers who have money to spend.
Make sure you think about your customers at every opportunity; if you write articles that provide genuine value and you go out of your way to help others, you’ll be rewarded in the long-run, whether that’s through ranking high on social media or backlinks and recommendations for sightseers, travel websites and your future customers. Good luck!